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LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
 
FSA LogoThe Luxury Hotel Insider: Exclusive luxury hotel deals, features and special rates from the luxury hotel experts at Five Star Alliance. 
 
Named one of Tripbase's Best Luxury Travel Blogs for 2011, below are Five Star Alliance's newest articles featuring exclusive information on luxury hotels worldwide including special offers and deals at the world's best hotels.

All-Inclusive Escape to the Westin Resort & Casino, Aruba

July 29, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Westin Resort and Casino, ArubaLooking for a toes-in-the-sand Caribbean getaway without the surprise of hidden resort fees? The Westin Resort & Casino-- facing the sparkling blue sea off Aruba's beautiful Palm Beach-- has all-inclusive packages that are good value for money. Recently unveiled, the new "Modified All-Inclusive Package" allows more flexibility than the Classic All-Inclusive Experience- as dinners are not included so you can explore Aruba's restaurants. You get breakfast at Bon Bini Café, lunch at the Terrace restaurant, unlimited drinks at the resort’s Tambu Bar and Lobby Bar, and non-motorized water sports such as kayaks and surf boards. All for just $399 per room, per night (based on double occupancy). Children can be added to the daily plan for $35 for ages five – 12 and $55 for ages 13 – 17. The package and rates are valid through December 2011.

 


Off-Season Deals in the Caribbean at the All-Inclusive ME Resort, Cancun

July 8, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

ME Hotel CancunAs far as luxury beach resorts go, there's not much missing at ME Cancun on the Mexican Riviera. A playground for adults, the ME Cancun has two pools with daybeds, a big spa and 24/7 fitness center, a Beach Club, five restaurants and seven bars. The best part of all? It's an all-inclusive paradise, so you get all meals and drinks (including house wines, beer, and international premium liquors) included with your room rates. It's a total luxury experience at a real value. Hot deals: The ME Hotel in Cancun has rates around $300 a night during the summer, with a $200 resort credit for the food and alcohol that aren't usually included in the all-inclusive rates (think private beach dinners and Champagne from the wine cellar).


Starwood Opens 1st All-Inclusive Resort: The Westin Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal in Costa Rica

May 12, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Westin Resort, Playa Conchal, Costa RicaGood news for those itching to vacation in style in beautiful Costa Rica. Starwood's just opened their first all-inclusive resort, and it's pretty swank. Formerly called the Paradisus Playa Conchal Resort, The Westin Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal-- centered around a lagoon-style pool-- is starting to redo the 406 suites and all public areas-- a renovation project that will be done in phases until the end of 2011. The advantages of staying at an all-inclusive resort are many, notably, no surprise fees when using the leisure facilities and dining at the restaurants. (Though we imagine that guests must pay for massages at the spa!) The launch of The Westin Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal marks the return of Starwood Hotels to Costa Rica after 20 years.


Sponsored Article: Summer Family Vacation at Old Bahama Bay Resort

April 26, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

Old Bahama Bay ResortFishing, snorkeling and sailing lessons; shallow "kid-friendly" beach waters; oversized two-bedroom guest rooms... You'd be hard-pressed to find a better vacation spot for a family getaway. Old Bahama Bay Resort & Yacht Harbour-- located just 55 miles east of Palm Beach, Florida-- is the ideal spot for some fun in the sun with loads of family activities. Just in time for summer vacation, the resort has introduced a 4-night package for families featuring a private snorkeling excursion, 4 hours of babysitting services, and daily breakfast and dinner for two adults and two children (ages 12 and under).

During the day, kids can take advantage of the resort's playground, chock full of beach toys, or play table tennis or baseball. There's also a children's DVD library. While parents enjoy a romantic dinner at Bonefish Bonefish Folley's overlooking the marina, or a night out at Teaser's Tiki Bar, the kids will be taken care of by "Bahama Mamas"- the resorts babysitting service. Priced from $4,025, the 4-night Family Package at Old Bahama Bay Resort also includes daily dinner and round-trip airport transfers. Available until September 6, 2011.


A Family Trip to Cancun at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach

February 17, 2011
By: Daniel L. Moses

Fiesta Americana Grand Coral BeachHave you seen the recently released Adam Sandler screen gem, ‘Just Go With It’? Sure you have, a couple of times at least. Well, good for you. I haven’t seen it, but I did see a few commercials and the locations looked amazing, in fact amazing enough that I wanted to go right away to lay in the surf and sand where the movie was set! The problem is, having yet to see it, I don’t actually know which surf and sand are present in the shots of Sandler and his co-star Brooklyn Decker frolicking on the beach.

While a simple solution would be to google for the answer, I decided instead to daydream about the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach in Cancun, Mexico, a place that has its own surf and sand in abundance! And since ‘Just Go With It’ is supposedly about Sandler’s character pretending to have a family, you can bring your real family to Fiesta Americana, one of Mexico’s most family friendly resorts!

This AAA 5 Diamond property is set right on beach with stunning ocean views from every angle. For the little ones, Fiesta Americana offers complimentary children’s programs, and those under 12 not only stay free, but can eat free too! So while that movie probably taught important lessons about the value of family, those of us who already have one can learn valuable lessons for our wallets at the luxurious Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach.


A Deal at the Luxury All-Inclusive Grand Velas Riviera Maya Resort

February 16, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grand Velas Riviera Maya ResortCraving some beach lounging in the sunshine? A trip south of the border is one of the best travel values to be had right now. On Mexico's Riviera Maya, you'll find some of the prettiest stretches of beach on the planet, plus an array of luxury resorts with top-notch facilities on the sand. We've spotted an excellent deal at the all-inclusive, AAA Five Diamond Award-winning Grand Velas Riviera Maya. Because it's all-inclusive, the resort prices include luxury suite accommodations, a la carte gourmet meals at a variety of specialty restaurants, premium branded beverages, 24-hour in-suite service, the services of a personal trainer at the fitness center, and nightly entertainment. And with the "Mayan Spa" package, priced from $350 per person, per night from now until April 30, 2011, you reap the rewards. Like a $50 spa credit per adult per day, kids priced two for one, a 10% discount at the resort boutiques and transportation from the resort to lively downtown Playa del Carmen.


Christmas in the Turks and Caicos: Limited Space at The Veranda

December 17, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Veranda Resort, Turks and CaicosLooking for a last-minute holiday getaway this year? Act fast and you could score a Caribbean Christmas. The Veranda Resort and Residences-- the all-inclusive luxury resort set on the pristine white sand of world-famous Grace Bay Beach-- has limited space starting December 20, 2010. Couples can relax in the Garden and Ocean View Studios and One-Bedroom Suites, while families can enjoy the multiple-bedroom suites including one of the gorgeous Oceanfront Three-Bedroom Cottages (available for 7 nights starting Dec 20). The resort's facilities run the gamut from the fully-equipped fitness center and spa to the Kids Club. Right outside your front door: a little piece of paradise in the Turks and Caicos.


Plan Ahead for a Caribbean Getaway: 45% Savings at Renaissance Aruba

October 26, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Renaissance ArubaRemember 'Snowmaggedon' last winter in Washington D.C.? Numbing temperatures may feel really far away, but Thanksgiving's already right around the corner. Plan ahead for a Caribbean escape this winter to dodge the winter blues. You'll get treated to some serious savings at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino. The "Travel Smart-Book Now" offer provides savings of up to 45%. But hurry, you must book before October 31, 2010 for travel between January 2-April 24, 2011. News: You can also take advantage of an all-inclusive, adults exclusive option at Renaissance Aruba, starting from just $376 per night and including unlimited standard brand beverages (including frozen drinks) and all daily meals. While you're vacationing at the resort, check out Renaissance Island (pictured), the only private island in Aruba, accessed by complimentary water taxi service.


Suite Deal in Puerto Vallarta at Casa Velas

October 4, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Casa Velas, Puerto VallartaHit the beach in Puerto Vallarta with a "suite deal" from Casa Velas, the AAA Four Diamond boutique hotel nestled on the greens of Marina Vallarta's 18-hole golf course. Book a suite and you'll get a second one for 50% off, plus complimentary upgrades to Grand Class Suites boasting their own private plunge pools (ooh la la). What's more- you'll get unlimited golf at either the 18-hole par 72 Jack Nicklaus and the 18-hole par 72 Tom Weiskopf courses in Vista Vallarta or the 18-hole par 71 Joe Finger course in Marina Vallarta. That's not all. This "Suite Deal" also allows for hydrotherapy treatments at the top-notch Spa Casas Velas. Relax after a hard day by the pool checking out the spa facilities: whirlpool, herbal steam sauna, crystal steam room, eucalyptus inhalation, and Swiss shower. Since this hotel is all-inclusive, you get all your meals, premium beverages, and shuttle service to the Casa Velas Private Ocean Club and Velas Vallarta for free. Available until December 23, 2010; promotion rates start at $240 per person per night, based on double occupancy. Restrictions apply.


Gourmet Eats for the Bicentennial of Mexico’s Independence at Grand Velas Riviera Maya

September 2, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grand Velas Riviera MayaThe best way to celebrate the bicentennial of Mexico's Independence? A culinary extravaganza showcasing traditional Mexican dishes! Eat your heart out at Grand Velas Riviera Maya-- the all-suites spa resort five minutes from Playa del Carmen that puts a twist (a luxurious one!) on the "all-inclusive" experience. (Buzz: Grand Velas Riviera Maya was recently named "Best Spa" by Virtuoso within the prestigious ‘Best of the Best’ Awards for 2010.) Until October 30, 2010, the ultra-luxe resort invites guests to feast in style with five- or six-course tasting menus or "routes" at each of its five gourmet signature restaurants. The chefs of each restaurant will be re-interpreting traditional Mexican ingredients and cooking methods in their own personal style, fusing menus with diverse international influences. The tasting menus are available to all resort guests at no additional charge as part of the all-inclusive rate. A few examples below:

*Route Hidalgo: The Mexican states Guanajuato, Queretaro, Mexico and Morelia inspired Chef Antonio Cortaza of Sen Lin to create an Asian-Mexican fusion menu with delicacies like lamb ribs bathed in ancho pepper curry, sweet potato ginger puree, and field roasted corn rolls with lemongrass infused white chocolate sauce.

*Route of Patriotism: Independence campaigns waged through the states of Michoacán, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Morelos, Puebla, Veracruz and Chiapas, all of which are known for both unusual and traditional mole dishes. Chef Daniel Garcia of Frida celebrates these states in his singular style with snails in green mole, pork shank and coffee cream filled donuts.

*Route Zapata: From the states of Sonora, Sinaloa, Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, Aguascalientes and Zacatecas come a wide variety of seafood dishes. Chef Michel Mustiere of Piaf presents a seafood menu of Franco-Mexican fusion. Savor pacific shrimp marinated with lemon juice and serrano peppers, served on a bed of creamed cucumber and black mole soufflé with Grand Marnier.